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UN human rights system and racial discrimination including caste-based discrimination (HRC48, 2021, OS)

Date : 2021.09.30

Together with the International Dalit Solidarity Network, IMADR delivered the oral statement on “UN human rights system and racial discrimination including caste-based discrimination” at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council. Whole text can be read below or download here.


Oral Statement: 48th session of the Human Rights Council

Item 5: Interactive Dialogue with the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee

30 September 2021

Madam Chair,

We thank the Advisory Committee for presenting its study on racial equality. We agree with the Committee that the reporting procedure of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) remains unfulfilled, despite their role in monitoring and assisting States for the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) at the national level.[1] As of end-May this year, 18 States had overdue reports of more than 5 years and 45 States had overdue reports for at least 10 years.[2] We firmly believe that racial equality cannot be achieved without the full implementation of ICERD, and timely and regular reporting to CERD is an indicator of States’ commitments towards this global goal. We urge States to swiftly submit overdue reports to CERD and to cooperate with civil society, especially with racialised communities, in reporting and implementation processes.

Specifically, the UN human rights system should be firmly engaged in eradicating caste-based discrimination, which affects nearly 260 million individuals worldwide. The sad persistence of this type of discrimination challenges the formal prohibition of caste discrimination in many countries.  Dalit women in particular suffer multiple discrimination at the intersection of caste and gender discrimination, including as targets of sexual violence and forced prostitution. We invite the Advisory Committee to consider UN standards on the matter, such as the CERD’s General Recommendation no. 29, and the 2016 study of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, as well the wealth of State practice of UPR recommendations for the elimination of caste discrimination.

Thank you.

[1] A/HRC/48/72, paragraph 66



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